Two days ago we quoted
a letter to The Times from 1968, which described some UEA students as “childishly noisy”, “completely lacking in manners” and “unkempt”.
Oxford English Dictionary has various defintions of unkempt. The one intended by the letter-writer would seem to be:
Of a person’s or (occasionally) an animal’s appearance, condition, etc.: characterized by uncombed or untidy hair; (more generally) scruffy, dishevelled.
Historical Thesaurus lists this meaning under: the world > physical sensation > cleanness and dirtiness > dirtiness > [adjective] > dirty and mean. Words in this category (with the earliest year in which they were recorded) are:
Words with similar meanings include
grimy, tatty, shabby, dowdy and mangy.
You may have noticed how most of these words have two syllables and end in
y. About half of them begin with s. This may be an example of sound symbolism or iconicity.
Beijing has had
many different names over the last 3,000 years. This Google Ngram chart shows the three that were most common in English-language sources during the 20th century.
latest update the Oxford English Dictionary has added over 100 words and phrases connected to film.
20 adjectives relating to specific directors have been included, such as:
Some horror film terms have been added. For example:
For more, see
British people have been complaining about
Americanisms – words or phrases from the United States that have become common in Britain – since the eighteenth century.
For example, nowadays you often hear
train station instead of railway station , fries instead of chips and movie instead of film.
Ben Yagoda’s blog
Not One-Off Britishisms is about movement in the other direction:
Over the last decade or so, an alarming number of traditionally British expressions have found their way into the American vocabulary.
Some Britishisms are
advert, DIY, ginger (a person with red hair) , gobsmacked, Hoover (verb) , kerfuffle, mobile (i.e. a mobile phone) , on holiday, queue, sell-by date, short-listed, snog, straight away, take a decision, twee.
The latest blog post is on
With clearly wins.
Google Ngram Viewer.
A clear victory for
Google Ngram Viewer.
Do you know the meaning of these interjections?
I’m thinking or unsure what to say next.
We’ll be meeting them at, uh, 4 o’clock.
Of course I still love you, it’s just, uh…
Sometimes written as “er”.
What did you just say? What do you mean?
– Amy, Question 5?
– Please pay attention. What’s the answer to Question 5?
– I’m going to marry your sister.
– Uh? uh-uh
– Have you seen Bill?
– Uh-uh. uh-huh
Yes or I understand/agree/am listening.
– Then we went on to the party…
– … and Sarah was there – you remember Sarah?
– … and she goes up to Tom and you know what Tom’s like.
– Uh-huh. uh-oh
There’s a problem.
– Hey, the red light is flashing.
– Isn’t that your teacher?
For more information, try these definitions at Collins English Dictionary:
uh, uh-uh, uh-huh, uh-oh.